Taraji P. Henson Opens Up About Lying to Her 9-Year-Old Son About His Father Being Murdered

Taraji P. Henson revealed reasons why she decided to not tell her then 9-year-old son that his father was murdered.

via Page Six:

The 50-year-old “Empire” star opened in Wednesday’s episode of “Peace of Mind with Taraji” about the difficult decision she faced upon learning that her ex-boyfriend, William Johnson, was killed.

“My son’s father was suddenly taken, murdered, when he was 9 and I didn’t know how to tell him that,” Henson revealed to co-host Tracie Jade Jenkins. “I couldn’t tell him he was murdered.”

Johnson, Henson’s high school sweetheart, was 33 when he was stabbed to death on Jan. 26, 2003. The Washington Post reported police cited a brutal confrontation over slashed tires escalated and led to his death.

The Oscar-nominated, Golden Globe Award-winning actress confessed to being unable to tell her child, Marcel, the truth. Instead, she lied and said his father “died in an accident.”

“I didn’t have the balls — it wouldn’t come out,” a tearful Henson replied. “It was in the paper and I didn’t know how to tell him. He was stabbed to death, it was the worst way you could die.”

Marcel, now 26, eventually learned what happened and confronted his mother.

“Later on in life, he found out and he came back to me and was like, ‘Why didn’t you tell me my daddy was murdered?’ And so then we had to get therapy,” Henson shared.

The conversation was then turned over to the show’s guest, therapist Sierra Hillsman, who provided tips on how to properly have a difficult conversation with a young child.

Hillsman advised that the best way to talk about sensitive topics with children is to use age-appropriate language and to explain “there are situations where people do evil things to other people.”

“Peace of Mind with Taraji, “which airs Monday and Wednesday on Facebook Watch, aims to tackle mental health issues with a particular focus on the Black community and featuring a slew of celebrity guests, including Gabrielle Union, Tamar Braxton and Queen of Hip Hop Soul Mary J. Blige.

We can imagine that was an incredibly difficult conversation to have at the time. We’re sure she did the best she could.

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